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Rock n’ Roll Conservationists Celebrate America’s Forests, USDA Green Buildings Strategy
Apr 1 2011
By Jane Knowlton, U.S. Forest Service
America’s forests and all the benefits they provide were cause for celebration at a special reception Wed., March 30 in Washington D.C. as part of America’s recognition of the U.N.’s Year of Forests 2011.
Longtime keyboardist and musical director for the Rolling Stones Chuck Leavell joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Forest Service Associate Chief Mary Wagner, partners from many conservation organizations, students and scientists to highlight forests as the heart and soul of communities all across the country.
More than 350 people shared their passion, interests and commitment to celebrate forests and the benefits and values they provide. Individual tree farmers, professionals from local, state and federal conservation agencies and organizations, and students from a local D.C. elementary school all gathered to promote and celebrate forest conservation and restoration during a special reception heralding America’s Celebrate Forests, Celebrate Life campaign as part of the U.N. year-long celebration.
Healthy forests provide a wealth of benefits including
- Clean air and water
- Carbon storage
- A vital renewable source of energy
- A wealth of recreation opportunities, hunting and fishing
- A vast array of products we use every day, and
- Support for rural economies through the creation of sustainable jobs as landscapes are made more resilient to climate change.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s strategy to promote the use of wood as a green building material. “The Forest Service has looked at the greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental benefits provided by working forests,” Vilsack said. “From these studies, we see that wood compares very favorably to other products when it come to green building materials.” Read more on USDA’s three-step strategy on the use of wood as a green building material which will promote smarter, more efficient use of wood products for green building, promote restoration and conservation of private and public forests, and create jobs.